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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 4
QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Aaron Rodgers, David Johnson, or Antonio Brown is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Rodgers’ bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because Johnson is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Brown and went RB-QB-Gronk in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays). Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.

Bye Weeks: N/A

Jay Cutler

Don't be afraid to jump back on the Jay Cutler bandwagon. The Saints defense awaits in Week 4.

Grab a Helmet

Deshaun Watson v. TEN or DeShone Kizer v. CIN: If not for some late-game heroics orchestrated by NFL maestros Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, Iím guessing 99% of survivor pools across the land would have ended in Week 3. You need look no further than these two rooks for proof of how crazy a week it was. The former, in just his second career start, almost bested the Patriotsí great in Foxboro, posting 27.2 points (11th at the position). The latter, despite completing fewer than 50% of his throws and tossing three picks against the downtrodden Colts, actually ended up with the 5th best QB bottom line (30.5). It ainít always pretty and probably wonít be in the near term (especially for Kizer), but both men bring exciting playmaking ability to their respective squads and have no serious competition backing them up. Pick your favorite Deshaun/DeShone and go with him.

Eli Manning @ TB: The G-Men scrambled back to their feet last weekend, but the mandatory eight count on their season continues after a heartbreaking 27-24 defeat. Now 0-3 with two divisional losses, the playoffs seem like a pipe dream. However, they still possess one of the best defenses in the league and an arsenal of passing game weapons (OBJ, Sterling Shephard, Brandon Marshall, and Evan Engram). If Eli can stay off his heinie, who knows? The running game is averaging fewer than 50 yards a game (the 16-game record is 66 and change, BTW), so thereís no help there. Itís all on Mr. Two-time Super Bowl Champ and he gets a dream matchup this weekend against a Bucs squad that has yielded 659 passing yards in two games. Tampaís respective tormentors? Mike Glennon and Case Keenum. Yikes. This is Eliís best matchup of the season, most likely. Start him.

Jay Cutler v. NO (London): The Duke of Disinterest was up to his old tricks last Sunday, failing to show up against the hapless Jets and exhibiting all the bad habits that have made him one of the more maddening triggermen in the game this last decade-plus. Through three quarters, he managed precisely 75 yards passing against arguably the worst team in the league and only a late touchdown toss to DeVante Parker (read: last play of the game late) partially salvaged an otherwise abysmal day. Know what, though? DOOOONíT CAAAARE! The Saints are on tap and if thereís a tonic for what ails opposing QBs, itís definitely the New Orleans defense. I expect a better effort in front of the London crowd this coming Sunday and Cutler has the targets (Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and former Saint Kenny Stills) to do damage. Swallow hard and start him.

Grab a Clipboard

Jared Goff @ DAL: I buried Goff before heíd even taken a professional snap last August, suggesting in a preseason column he might be the worst No.1 pick since JaMarcus Russell. OK, so maybe that was a bit harsh. Still, are we really ready to proclaim him an NFL star in the making, someone we should allow running our fantasy offenses on a week-in, week-out basis, after three 2017 games? I remain skeptical. He was excellent against the bottom-feeding Niners last Thursday, sure, but merely efficient against the short-handed Colts in Week 1 and ordinary in a Week 2 loss to Washington. Thatís kind of a mixed bag in my book. If he handles the Cowboys on the road this Sunday, potentially without Sammy Watkins, Iíll be happy to eat that great big helping of crow. I think the Rams and Goff get exposed as not quite ready for primetime.

Blake Bortles @ NYJ: Bortles was masterful in Jacksonvilleís Wembley Stadium massacre of the Ravens last Sunday, throwing for 244 yards and four scores on just 31 attempts, the kind of efficiency heís rarely exhibited as a pro. Has he finally turned a corner in this, his fourth NFL season? Have you forgotten his unsightly performance just one week prior in his true home opener against Tennessee? Bortles is capable of these kinds of outings, granted, but the Jags canít (and wonít) count on them, instead relying on a rejuvenated running game and a salty defense. Heís already thrown fewer than 35 passes in all three games this year, or one less time than he did in 16 games last year. That makes him big play and touchdown-dependent and he has neither the chops nor the appropriate cohorts to explode like that regularly. He posts modest totals against the Jets.

Derek Carr @ DEN: Need another reminder of how ludicrous Week 3 was? Bortles scored a full 20 more fantasy points than Oakland’s franchise man, or more than either of them average per game. You know you’ve had a bad night when Blake Bortles outscores you by more than your average game total. Carr is too good and has too many great targets to go into a prolonged tailspin, but he has a very good chance of underperforming for at least one more week. In five career games against the Broncos’ suffocating secondary, he’s averaged a paltry 14.1 fantasy points, or only about 4 more than he totaled in that debacle last Sunday night. Math can certainly be depressing sometimes, can’t it? Carr will have many better days ahead but the full brunt of this soon-to-be two-game swoon can only be avoided if you sit him down in Week 4.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers